Over the past couple of years, some knee issues have slowed me down. My new knee joint resolved those issues, and life is getting back to normal—as normal as my life gets, I suppose. Anyway, I’m planning to get back to doing some light hiking this year as the weather improves. With that in mind, I bought a new backpack to use on day hikes.
For the past four years, I have been using the Rambler sling pack from Red Rock. It has been—and still is—a great backpack. It has plenty of storage for hauling a radio and accessories out to the field, and it is one sturdy, well-built pack. My only issue with it is that it is a sling pack. For short trips, it’s fine. But, for longer trips, having all the weight on one shoulder feels a bit “lopsided” to me. If I could have the same pack with two shoulder straps, I would be a happy camper (hiker).
A while back, I came across the Wakizashi backpack from Samurai Tactical and saved it to my Amazon wishlist. The Wakizashi is similar in size to my Rambler sling pack. While it has fewer storage pockets than my sling pack, it has more than enough storage for my needs. (I tend to carry too much stuff with me anyway.)
When I purchased it, the Wakizashi backpack in black was selling for a mere $24 (USD). (Other colors are available at slightly higher prices.) For that price, if I didn’t like it, I could always give it to one of the grand-kids. The average ratings were 4.6 out of 5, so I took a chance and placed an order.
I should also note that I have no financial interest here; I paid for the backpack with my own funds. Also, the Amazon link above is not an affiliate link.
Amazon delivered the pack to a neighbor’s porch a few days later. I had to wander the neighborhood in the rain to find it. Not cool, Amazon.
I wasn’t expecting much for a $24 backpack, but I was pleasantly surprised. For a cheap backpack, it seems well built. A few of the many reviews complained of poor stitching and general issues with quality. I saw none of that in the item I received. Mine was well-built, and the material appears to be durable enough.
The pack measures 17.1 x 11.1 x 6.1 inches with a capacity of 24 liters. There’s a large main compartment and a smaller admin compartment. There are also two smaller compartments near the top of the pack. A side pouch is large enough for a water bottle, and there is plenty of MOLLE webbing on the sides and back. If you’re so inclined, it accommodates a hydration bladder and has a hydration port at the top of the bag.
Although the Wakizashi backpack has fewer compartments than my sling pack, there is enough storage to accommodate everything I normally carry in the field. Besides the radio gear, I always carry a small first aid kit, emergency poncho, headlamp, and a few other emergency items. The main compartment is a bit larger, so things that present a tight squeeze in the sling pack fit easily in the Wakizashi.
I’ve been using this pack for the past couple of months now with no issues. How well it holds up in the long term remains to be seen. For now, anyway, I’m happy with this budget backpack.
73, Craig WB3GCK